From The Telegraph, Jan. 28:
Benjamin Netanyahu, the favourite to win next month’s Israeli general election, yesterday predicted al-Qaeda would blow up the purported burial place of Jesus Christ if the country relinquished control of Jerusalem.
Mr Netanyahu, who claimed to have forecast the destruction of the Twin Towers by Islamic extremists in 1995, said terrorists would target the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – Christianity’s holiest site.
“Radical Islam is willing and will want to attack the symbolic heart of the Christian religion,” he said. “This will incur a chain reaction we can’t even envision. We will witness an escalation of religious conflict above and beyond the regional conflict we have now.”
The leader of the Right-wing Likud opposition recalled that he had warned Islamic terrorists would detonate a nuclear device in the Manhattan World Trade Centre complex in a 1995 book, six years before the Sept 11 attacks.
He claimed that the destruction of the Holy Sepulchre would trigger a clash between religions, much greater than the “regional conflict” that currently wracks the Holy Land.
Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion, deconstructing Bibi’s scare-mongering, reminds us that his 1995 warning that terrorists would destroy the WTC came two years after they had tried to do exactly that! Not exactly clairvoyance there, Bibi. Bartholomew also points out Bibi’s blatant double standard:
Netanyahu is of course trying to scare us into accepting that Israel ought to retain control of the site… Doubtless al Qaeda finds the place religiously objectionable, but there is no indication that its leaders have any interest in plotting to destroy the site, either for religious reasons or as a strategy to stir up strife.
On the other hand, Jewish extremists torched a church in Jerusalem in 2007 – and back in 1983 a Greek Orthodox church in Bethany (Eizariya) was attacked with a hand grenade. There have also of course been Israeli far-right plots to blow up the Dome of the Rock: in 1983, and allegedly in 2005.
And we should recall that Netanyahu enjoys close links with American Christian Zionists, and he has never complained about the Christian Zionist fantasy which would see the ancient Islamic structures on the Temple Mount demolished to make way for a new Jewish temple. Over to Billye Brim, Regional Director for Christians United for Israel:
Yerushalayim, in Yerushalayim there is a hill, where Abraham offered Isaac, Moriah, the Temple Mount. On that hill there is a rock [Dramatic pause] where a holy arch stood. Today there’s a dome over the rock. [Dramatic pause] God has a plan for that hill.
That was at a “Night to Honor Israel,” at which regular event at John Hagee’s church Netanyahu has also appeared. On another occasion, Brim was more explicit in her barbaric plans:
We’ll see it come down. Lots of other people have prayed it, God’s put it all together. We just happen to be the ones that were there on November the ninth, the date of Kristallnacht, the date that the Berlin Wall fell over, and he had us there. And he had us saying “that Dome is coming down!” [ululation] Hallelujah, Glory be to God! Bless the name of Jesus.